Gimlet Academy Has Arrived!

Gimlet / Spotify for Podcasters
Gimlet / Spotify for Podcasters

Introducing a brand new five-episode series from podcast pioneer Alex Blumberg, and Spotify for Podcasters, that teaches the craft of audio story-telling.


While many people have tried their hand at creating a podcast, most have found it’s not as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to making a hit. “People underestimate how much time and work it takes to make something that will hold an audience’s attention,” says Alex Blumberg, co-founder of Spotify-owned Gimlet Media, an influential leader in podcasting.

That’s what led him to create a special podcast for Gimlet employees about the secrets to making a great show. Now for the first time, those secrets are being made public in the new podcast Gimlet Academy—hosted by Blumberg and released in partnership with Spotify for Podcasters—that explores how to make compelling audio stories.

“The series is for anyone interested in audio storytelling. It takes the most important lessons my friends, colleagues and I in the podcasting biz have learned over our many decades doing this work, and distills them into five easy-to-digest, fun-to-listen-to podcast episodes,” Blumberg explains. From crafting an initial pitch to putting together a show’s final structure, Gimlet Academy promises to deliver all the important details behind the world of podcasting to listeners.

Blumberg’s own deep dive into podcasts began in 2014. He'd spent the previous 15 years working as a producer for This American Life, and co-creating and running the hit NPR podcast Planet Money. He ditched all that because he saw a niche he knew had legs (and hopefully plenty of ears): well-produced podcasts with a sharp focus on storytelling and journalism. Alongside Matt Lieber, another former radio show and podcast producer, he formed the narrative podcasting company Gimlet Media. In pure meta fashion, Blumberg began chronicling his adventures (and misadventures) in building his business on the podcast series StartUp.

Half a decade later, Gimlet’s roster now includes podcasts like Reply All, Science Vs., Crimetown, Mogul and Heavyweight, and are listened to by millions of people each month. Its slate of mostly narrative-style shows are known for their engaging content that holds a person’s attention and keeps an audience coming back for more.

They hook listeners from the start, which according to Blumberg stems from creators working on something they’re genuinely passionate about and want to share with others. “Think hard about what you actually want to say,” he advises. “Don’t think that a podcast will lead to fame or fortune. Instead, consider what it is that only you can offer and how you can speak directly and honestly to a community that matters to you.”

From there, it comes down to a combination of hard work and great storytelling. The podcasters that create the shows everyone hears about? Blumberg believes they have one thing in common: “they work their butts off to keep that audience engaged, informed, and entertained.”

Listen to all five episodes of Gimlet Academy below, available only on Spotify.

Tens of thousands of audio creators use Spotify for Podcasters every month to dive into streaming analytics about how their show is doing on Spotify and tap into resources for how to help their show reach even more listeners around the world.

—Spotify for Podcasters